If you have asthma, it’s important to consider your sleep patterns and to exclude (or confirm) the presence of this dangerous sleep disorder.
Sleep apnea tends to make asthma worse – that’s why getting a formal diagnosis is so important. This sleep disorder aggravates asthma by causing neuromechanical reflex bronchoconstriction, gastroesophageal reflux, and inflammation.
Sleep apnea also stresses the heart, and it may trigger weight gain. Chronic upper airway health issues are believed to be the reason why asthma sufferers are more prone to develop sleep apnea.
If you’ve been waking up with a headache and dealing with a lot of fatigue during the day, sleep apnea may be the cause, and it may actually be contributing to the frequency and severity of your asthma attacks.
Symptoms to Watch for…
Many asthma sufferers snore and exhibit other common symptoms of sleep apnea (such as gasping during sleep, waking up frequently in the night to urinate, and distinctive “stop/start” patterns of breathing).
If you sleep alone, it may be hard for you to know if you’re snoring or gasping during the night; however, most people with sleep apnea will usually snore quite loudly, and friends and family will tend to be aware of this snoring, even if they haven’t actually mentioned it.
If no one’s remarked that you are a snorer, just ask someone who’s in a position to know. Tell him or her that you need to know in order to protect your health. Another option is to record yourself (video or audio) to see exactly how you act while sleeping, and which sounds you make during the night.
If you’ve determined that you do display the symptoms of sleep apnea, you must take the necessary steps to treat this serious sleep disorder. Luckily, there are some great ways to minimize or eliminate any symptoms that may be triggering exhaustion (while also contributing to your asthma problems).
How to Get Help
While the idea of wearing a mask during sleep may take some getting used to, today’s CPAP nasal masks are amazingly soft, supple, and comfortable to wear.
These masks (or nasal pillows) are designed to be attached to high-tech CPAP machines that regulate airflow while you sleep. Without CPAP machines and masks, your body can’t get the oxygen it needs during the night.
If you’re tired of dealing with daytime fatigue, morning headaches, mental fog, and other sleep apnea side effects that exacerbate your asthma, it’s time to take action.